Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that they will not exercise the 2010 contract options on goalkeeper Diego, defenders Michael Ndubuisi Onwatuegwu and Marco Reda, as well as striker Aaron Wheeler.
Diego, 23-years-old, leaves the Whitecaps after one season with the club, having initially signed on January 30. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound native of Curvelo, Minas Gerais, Brazil, did not see any action with the 'Caps men's team during the season, through he made four appearances with the Residency team in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL). The South American shot-stopper posted two wins and two defeats in the PDL for a goals-against average of 1.43.
Onwatuegwu, 22-years-old, made one appearance with the Whitecaps this season. The centre back played the first half of the club's final regular season match on September 18, as Vancouver defeated Cleveland City Stars 2-1 at Swangard Stadium. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound native of Onitsha, Nigeria, initially joined the club on August 13 after a spell in the Indonesian Premier Division with Persiba Bantul from 2005 to 2008.
Reda, 32-years-old, scored two goals in 17 appearances during his lone season with the Whitecaps, having first joined the club from USL First Division rivals Charleston Battery on February 19. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound native of Woodbridge, Ontario, completed his seventh USL-1 season in 2009, with the defender spending his first five years in the league with former USL-1 club Toronto Lynx. In 2007, the centre back was part of Toronto FC's inaugural season in Major League Soccer.
Wheeler, 21-years-old, joined the Whitecaps on August 28, but did not see any action with the men's team during the season. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound native of Dundalk, Maryland, arrived in Vancouver after playing the 2009 PDL campaign with Reading Rage. He also played three seasons of NCAA Division II soccer with Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina, before transferring to Towson University in Maryland last spring.
Whitecaps 2010 season tickets are now on sale. Season tickets include all men’s and women's team regular season and playoff home matches at Swangard Stadium, Nutrilite Canadian Championship home matches against Toronto FC and Montreal Impact, as well as priority listing for Vancouver MLS 2011 in BC Place. For more information on our 2010 season ticket packages, call 604.669.WAVE (9283) or visit whitecapsfc.com.